Upcoming changes to ‘On this iPhone or iPad’ Playback


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We first launched the ‘On this iPhone or iPad’ feature in 2012 before AirPlay was available on Sonos. The way this feature was originally designed has become unreliable with newer versions of iOS, and in the coming months, this feature will no longer be available in the Sonos app.

Here are a few options to play tracks that were locally stored on your phone to Sonos:
  1. Streaming the catalogue from a music service. There are more than 100 music services available on Sonos, many with several millions of songs.
  2. Uploading your tracks to a music service with a storage feature, like Apple Music, that will store your library and stream it. This is a great option if you have songs that aren’t available on a streaming service. Google Play Music has a free account option that allows you to upload 50,000 tracks and play them.
  3. Setting up a Music Library share on a Computer or Network Attached Storage drive. This route has a computer or networked hard drive on your local network used as a source for music. You can use your mobile device or any other Sonos controller to select and play music off of that drive.
With option 3, you can share that library to Sonos using the steps here. With a local music share, your phone doesn’t need to be turned on to listen to you music, and the music will keep on playing as long as that storage location is available. So you can leave the home and the music will keep on playing. There are also alarm and Sonos playlist features that are available for most music sources that aren't available from 'On this iPhone'.

Another way to play music stored on your phone to Sonos is by using Apple AirPlay 2 on compatible Sonos speakers (Play:5 gen2, Playbase, Beam, Sonos One, and Sonos Amp). You can have an AirPlay 2 stream going to one of those speakers and use the Sonos app to group it with any other Sonos rooms to have them all playing in sync. You can find more information about using AirPlay 2 with Sonos here.

More about how to ‘Play music stored on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch’ is on our support pages.

We'll continue to support everyone through this change, and will help them set up the necessary workarounds to keep listening to their favorite tracks on Sonos.

1101 replies

Userlevel 5
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I buy a product because of a feature that is advertised and then sonos remove it.
Recommending the Airplay 2 feature is particularly annoying as I decided I didn’t need this on the basis on the “play on this phone” feature that was available on this product.
I shouldn’t have to spend any more money because Sonos can’t be bothered to make a feature work.
Userlevel 5
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Thank you for the update Jeff. This is what I was unfortunately predicting. Is Sonos going to offer trade in credit for removing a feature that was included in products that I purchased? Throwing away two Play:1 speakers for two new Sonos One speakers to get AirPlay 2 support is not ideal.

Edit: I ask this because Sonos removed features when AirPlay 2 support launched (iOS lock screen controls w/non-Sonos AirPlay devices on a network). I am concerned that Sonos is going to kill off more features in the future for those with older model speakers by trying to make their products work with the latest technology.
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I purchased the Sonos System because of the mobile support for the IOS music library. Now your'e taking it away?? Re-architect your software and fix the issues. Eliminating the functionality is not a fix. I have invested thousands of dollars in your systems. Can I get my money back?

I also bought your system so I could take my IOS Library to friends homes and interface with their Sonos systems. Now that will also be eliminated. What is the solution for that?
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Agreed. I guess it is what it is BUT we should t have to sign up and pay for a monthly music service to enable a feature. Also, AirPlay has its flaws as well. Such as, not being able to be on phone and listen to music at same time. So now the whole house has to go silent cause I make a call?Music Library on a computer.

Plex server

Free music services

Line-In

Upload your music library to Google Play Music

Plenty of options. You just need to pick one, or multiple.

I use my music library stored on my computer (rarely, seeing how I pay for a streaming service) as well as I have 20,000+ songs uploaded to Google Play Music, but seeing how I pay for the streaming service, I rarely use that feature.


I also have a Connect that can use Line-In, but that's reserved for my turntable. Sonos isn't trying to leave you guys high and dry.



while these are all “solutions” the reason I purchased the Sonos is so I didn’t have to have a dedicated CPU library attached OR to directly plug a line in OR use a separate streaming service, etc. if people just wanted to Airplay music they could just own an iPhone and an airport express. Been doin that for over a decade. Like I said, I understand I will have to adapt to it, but the reason I purchased a Sonos was cause I didn’t like my airplay options.
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Thank you for the update Jeff. This is what I was unfortunately predicting. Is Sonos going to offer trade in credit for removing a feature that was included in products that I purchased? Throwing away two Play:1 speakers for two new Sonos One speakers to get AirPlay 2 support is not ideal.No need to throw away your Play:1's!

If you have a computer, you can add your music library from there.

Additionally you can set up a Plex server and add it to Sonos.

Google Music allows you to upload 50,000 songs to their server as well that you can play through Sonos for free.

Or just look into a streaming service such as Apple Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, Google Play Music/Youtube Music, etc.


Thanks for the suggestions. My spouse is not technical and does not want to pay for Apple Music and only manages purchased iTunes music/playlists on their iPhone (does not sync phone to a computer).
Userlevel 4
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Agreed. I guess it is what it is BUT we should t have to sign up and pay for a monthly music service to enable a feature. Also, AirPlay has its flaws as well. Such as, not being able to be on phone and listen to music at same time. So now the whole house has to go silent cause I make a call?
Userlevel 4
I purchased the Sonos System because of the mobile support for the IOS music library. Now your'e taking it away?? Re-architect your software and fix the issues. Eliminating the functionality is not a fix. I have invested thousands of dollars in your systems. Can I get my money back?

I also bought your system so I could take my IOS Library to friends homes and interface with their Sonos systems. Now that will also be eliminated. What is the solution for that?

Agree 100% to stream from the playlists and albums I have downloaded is the only reason I bought all of these components. I feel like have made a very poor choice in investing in Sonos components. I will be reaching out to my investment advisor to see if he thinks we should short the stock as the company is either short of funds or tone deaf to its customers or both. Either way there is probably money to br made shorting SONO
Userlevel 2
> If all you have is a single Sonos speaker and an iPhone full of downloads, I can see this being more of a pain

I have a classical music library that I’ve cultivated for years, most downloaded from CDs I spent a lot of time chasing down from my previous cassette collection, some of those previously from records. These are “my” versions of the songs, and what is provided by streaming services are not the same, not acceptable. Every morning I listen to Brahms 4th with the sunrise and my coffee, streaming off my iPad to three Sonos speakers. Come evening comes the only acceptable version of Brahms 1st Symphony. In more pensive moods I’ll put on the best Rach 3 version ever.

I see this as a huge betrayal by Sonos and know not to invest any more money in them. I have a system that worked and I liked, and now some marketing manager who decided I’m not worth the investment tells me I have to spend hours setting something else up to get my system to work just like it does now, and/or paying a service to stream my own music I bought over a decade ago?

I work in tech. I know this was fixable - this was a spending decision, plain and simple. Sonos was supposed to be a premium product for audiophiles but now they decided they are a mass market speaker for streaming mass produced crap.

Guess what - millennials in the basement listening to rap aren’t buying $1k speakers, they’ll buy cheap knock offs. Sonos was marketing to audiophiles with private collections, the ones who previously had records. The ones whose music is not on the streaming services.

I’m stopping upgrades of my Sonos app and iPad OS, and once my set-up stops working I’ll eBay my three Sonos speakers and set up a new system. I am not going to invest more time and money in a company that can’t be relied on.
Userlevel 4

Agreed. I guess it is what it is BUT we should t have to sign up and pay for a monthly music service to enable a feature. Also, AirPlay has its flaws as well. Such as, not being able to be on phone and listen to music at same time. So now the whole house has to go silent cause I make a call?Or get a NAS drive.

Why should I buy a NAS Drive? I already Paid SONOS for the feature. This is a criminal offence.
Userlevel 2
If you don’t stop killing features which are important for older products, I will stop buying Sonos devices.
Userlevel 3
I have spent thousands of dollar on your equipment with the promise that it would work with my iPad and iPhone and now your telling me I can’t. You have a very unhappy customer.
Userlevel 2
Enough is enough! Goodbye Sonos - Hello Apple HomePod. You have lost a very loyal customer (1 Sub, 4 Play:1).
Userlevel 4
We first launched the ‘On this iPhone or iPad’ feature in 2012 before AirPlay was available on Sonos. The way this feature was originally designed has become unreliable with newer versions of iOS, and in the coming months, this feature will no longer be available in the Sonos app.

Here are a few options to play tracks that were locally stored on your phone to Sonos:
  1. Streaming the catalogue from a music service. There are more than 100 music services available on Sonos, many with several millions of songs.
  2. Uploading your tracks to a music service with a storage feature, like Apple Music, that will store your library and stream it. This is a great option if you have songs that aren’t available on a streaming service.
  3. Setting up a Music Library share on a Computer or Network Attached Storage drive. This means setting up a hard drive on your local network and streaming the library off of there.
With option 3, you can share that library to Sonos using the steps here. This makes it so your phone doesn’t need to be turned on to listen, and the music will keep on playing as long as that storage location is available.


Taking away functions, that were there, when the customer bought the device is illegal in may countries. I think this is fraud. Will contact state attorney as soon as it happens.
Userlevel 3
New Business Model will take place: remove features to press people, to buy newest hardware. Completely unacceptable. It’s time to say good-bye if you really forcing to remove this feature. Better to invest in hardware where you can be sure, that the customer is a value, which will being valued. Apple HomePod, I will keep more eyes on you now.
Userlevel 3
Issue? I don’t believe! That’s not the first time that you are playing with your customers. If it’s an issue, address it to Apple and solve „this issue“. You never would remove a feature, if this would be an issue by partner company.
Userlevel 2
Like many others, I got the bits that were needed to be able to play directly from my phone. Great shame it's going, because that's about 80% of what I listen to (in a band, learning songs, and don't want to clog up my computer with the amount of rehearsals I record after I've transferred them to my phone).
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The alternatives described do not work for me. I have a NAS with the music which is fine and apparently unaffected. But on the iphone I download podcasts which I listen to on the SONOS or while travelling car or train. Some of the podcasts are months old before I get to listen to them.
My SONOS hardware is not compatible with Apple AirPlay. I am disappointed by the loss of this feature on SONOS. I share the sentiment of the posters fearing SONOS prematurely removing features or expecting us to invest yet more money in SONOS.
Userlevel 5
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Well, the easiest method would be to find a solution that works.

Or just spend money needlessly.
Userlevel 4
NEVER TRUST SONOS
Userlevel 2
I'm really pissed because my iTunes library is now not playable on my 1st gen Play 5. All this sounds more like a scheme to make customers buy (additional) Sonos speakers that support Airplay.

But: What's the argument for staying on the Sonos platform then? If Airplay is the solution, why not directly use homepods - in the end, Airplay is more flexible than the Sonos app and the limited supported services, anyway.
Userlevel 2
Perhaps I can provide a little much-needed perspective here.

It seems to me there are two distinct groups posting about this issue. The first consists of those who have just learned that this feature is being dropped and have posted to express their concern. I note that with but a very few exceptions, they almost entirely consist of first-time posters to these forums.

Given that it takes both time and effort to first find this community, and then spend the time necessary to sign up and compose a comment, I would suggest that what you are seeing here from these - let’s call them “newbies” - is but the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of the number of people who are actually dissatisfied.

The other group also have a distinct profile. They typically have been members of this community for several years and are quite frequent posters to these forums. A look at the profiles of the most frequent posters on this issue shows that they have posts in the thousands, or in some cases, tens of thousands. Let’s call them the “old timers“.

The newbies have come to this forum hoping that the Sonos community would join them in expressing concern regarding the decision to remove a feature which they find valuable. I grant you, sometimes this concern has been expressed in ways that, in my opinion, are inappropriate.

The old timers’ responses have typically along one of four themes - I am paraphrasing them here for purposes of simplicity. “I personally don’t use this feature. Therefore no one needs it.” “Have I told you how great a SAN is?” “This is all Apple‘s fault.” “Let me tell you how the workarounds work.”

So let’s take that different perspective that I spoke about. Here is what the Sonos announcement says about the reason for this feature being dropped.

“The way this feature was originally designed has become unreliable with newer versions of iOS”

My primary school English teacher taught me that if you want to understand a sentence, the first thing you need to do is change it from the passive voice to the active voice. When this rule is applied to this sentence, here is what you get:

“The way we designed this feature has become unreliable with newer versions of iOS.”

When it is read this way, it seems clear that the “this is all Apple’s fault” might not be wholly accurate.

I must commend John B who I think summarized this situation extremely well.

“Apple have made changes to iOS that they are perfectly entitled to make. A side-effect of this is that in certain (fairly common) scenarios, playing music stored on an i-device has become unreliable. Sonos has an incentive to fix this, Apple does not. “

So it seems to me there is really only one question here. That question is this:

Is this problem unfixable? In other words, have the changes that Apple has made in the iOS made it impossible for Sonos, or anyone else for that matter, to support this feature.

So why don’t we just ask the question? This is a Sonos Community forum and it is moderated and monitored by Sonos. Jeff, can you please speak to your management and get us all an answer to the following question.

“Has Sonos determined that, due to the changes that Apple is making to their iOS, it is impossible for Sonos (or anyone else) to develop the programming code necessary to support the “on this iPhone” feature stably with the new versions of iOS?”

You old timers could do us all a great service. You have a lot of clout here. Please put pressure on the moderators of these forums to get us an answer.

If the answer to this question is “yes”, then I would suggest that the newbies should concentrate on taking the excellent advice that they have received from some of the old timers and see if they can find a workaround which is tolerable for them. I would also suggest that in the event of a “yes” answer, in my opinion, some of the newbies owe the old timers an apology.

However, if the answer is “no” and Sonos has simply decided not to invest the time and effort necessary to continue to support this feature, then I would ask the old timers to consider whether it might be worthwhile to speak with “one voice” as a community and, regardless of whether or not you personally use or value the feature, support the newbies in their request that Sono reconsider this decision, as a not insignificant portion of this community does find the feature very valuable.

We'll continue to support everyone through this change

I suppose what is implicit in this is that if one does not want this change, that can be done by opting out from software upgrades?
Userlevel 2
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Just discovered this thread after just posting because of pop up after using “on this device”. I’ve now tried using airplay as advised and guess what doesn’t work! It does not recognise either of the play 1’s or play 3, does recognise the play base but refuses to connect. Even if it did and I grouped the others to play, hardly convenient if somebody in the house wants to watch telly! Going to be forced to get a nas now I think...great thanks sonos
Userlevel 1
I’m very disappointed. We have a couple of play:1 speakers and exclusively play music from iPhones. We don’t have a computer that can be permanently left on for music (it’s not always at home), although it does work for playing music. A streaming service isn’t really an option as radio play stops and starts due to slow broadband. Any solution is going to require buying something.
Userlevel 1
shame on you - in the near future there is no reason to use Sonos anymore. Why do you remove simply to use functions from your app? incomprehensible - SONO

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